Torturing For Jesus?
1 a : of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ETHICAL b : expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior c : conforming to a standard of right behavior d : sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment e : capable of right and wrong action
Synonyms: MORAL, ETHICAL, VIRTUOUS, RIGHTEOUS, NOBLE mean conforming to a standard of what is right and good. MORAL implies conformity to established sanctioned codes or accepted notions of right and wrong <the basic moral values of a community>. ETHICAL may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions of rightness, fairness, or equity <committed to the highest ethical principles>. VIRTUOUS implies the possession or manifestation of moral excellence in character <not a religious person, but virtuous nevertheless>. RIGHTEOUS stresses guiltlessness or blamelessness and often suggests the sanctimonious <wished to be righteous before God and the world>. NOBLE implies moral eminence and freedom from anything petty, mean, or dubious in conduct and character <had the noblest of reasons for seeking office>.
Fundamentalist Christians are saying they voted for George Bush in the 2004 election because of "moral values". Is the Religious Right wrong?
According to the definition of moral it is a standard of right or good behavior based on one's conscience or ethical judgment. What are these Christians' standards? Are their values really moral?
In April of 2004, CBS 60 Minutes II shocked the nation with a report of abuses and torture of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison by U.S. military men and women complete with photos of grinning troops behind a pile of hooded, naked Iraqi men arranged in a pyramid. Other photos showed more sadistic acts including sexual humiliation, outright sexual abuse and attacks by dogs. Ironically, the Abu Ghraib prison was the site used by Saddam Hussein for the imprisonment and torture of Iraqis and one reason given for the need for liberation and regime change.
Torture of prisoners of war is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions. The United States would never condone torture, would it? It violates every principle of American Democracy. However, if this practice was not known, planned and condoned, why did the White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, send a memo to the president advising him to exempt the captured Taliban and al Qaida prisoners from the provisions of the Geneva Conventions in January 2002? His reasoning was that it "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act". This was pre-planning a defense for torture more than two years before it was exposed on CBS.
Gonzales was advising President Bush on ways to skirt the law to avoid prosecution for illegal and immoral actions in violating a treaty signed by the United States and recognized by every civilized nation in the world. Gonzales also claimed "the war on terrorism is a new kind of war, a new paradigm [that] renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitation on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders some of its provisions quaint." According to our Constitution, treaties that are ratified by the U.S. become part of the supreme law of the land.
Bush has now nominated Gonzales for the position of Attorney General. One would think that those concerned with moral values would be outraged at the selection of someone who would dismiss US law as "quaint" and advise the leader of our country how to break the law to be considered as the man responsible for seeing that the laws of our nation are upheld. It should be an affront to our national decency that the torture of human beings by Americans would even be considered defensible.
The two million member Christian Coalition stated it supports the Gonzales nomination. Since his attitude toward obeying the law and his complicity in human rights abuses is neither ethical, virtuous, righteous or noble, perhaps we need a new definition of moral to explain those values.